Blockbuster – The DVDfever Review – Netflix – Randall Park

Blockbuster Blockbuster is a new Netflix sitcom set in the last of the titular video rental stores left in the US.

In the ’80s, I frequently walked to my nearest (albeit non-Blockbuster) store, and rented more films than I can remember – sometimes trying to see if I could get away with renting 18-rated movies, including bawdy comedy H.O.T.S., and it worked! Then again, I don’t think the staff cared. They were probably on commission to rent out as many tapes as possible.

That said, in the ’90s, after I finished University, I did try getting a job at a video rental store called Blockbuster… albeit not part of this chain. I don’t know how long they lasted, but I didn’t get the job, sadly, as it would’ve been cool – after all, that’s how Quentin Tarantino got started in the movie business*! (not at that Stockport shop, but you get the idea). Given how much I was into films, and still am, surely it was a slam dunk? Maybe I should’ve tried other places in the area, but that was almost 30 years ago, and everything is on streaming, now.

Here, this show is set in the last store remaining, beginning with a customer admitting he hasn’t been in for three years, since… he’s been watching Netflix, so a quick plug for the makers of the show.

In this sitcom, manager Timmy (Randall Park) has to deal with a lot of cattiness between the female members of staff, including Eliza (Melissa Fumero) – who he has the hots for, and who wants to host a Block Party in order to drum up business, and the man for all the bits and pieces they need is mall owner Percy – played by JB Smoove, who I know best as Leon in Curb Your Enthusiasm – since the pair once used to rule their school. Mr Smoove is no different here than he was in that show, but it’s obvious that he and Park can’t have been in the same class, since there’s 9 years difference between the two actors’ ages. But, mere details…

Meanwhile for the youngest member of the team, Hannah (Madeleine Arthur), she’s a a bit ditzy, although this works well, when she focuses on the town’s economic woes, stating “This town’s not exactly the land of milk and honey, especially since they shut down the dairy and the apiary”. She’d also love to work with animals, “but it’s tough with the language barrier”.

In fact, there’s far more members of staff than should really be working in the store, even if they were regularly busy. Plus, they’re out on their own because even Head Office has just been shut down.

Blockbuster is actually a decent comedy, with so many one-liners coming at you, not always giving a belly laugh, but certainly the right amount of smile. And if one doesn’t hit home, another will be along shortly.

So far, I’ve seen three episodes, the third of which focuses on Halloween, which has just passed at the time of this series’ release, and to detail any aspect of an episode further would just be to repeat the content, so I recommend checking this out now it’s released.

(*in fact, one staff member references exactly that, just six minutes into the first episode! And I’d written that opening paragraph before I’d seen it! :D)

Thanks to our friends at Netflix for the screener prior to release.

Blockbuster is not available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD, but is on Netflix from Thursday November 3rd.

Blockbuster – Official Trailer – Netflix

Detailed specs:

Running time: 25 minutes per episode (10 episodes)
Release date: November 3rd 2022
Studio: Netflix
Format: 2.00:1

Director: Payman Benz
Creator: Vanessa Ramos
Writers: Vanessa Ramos, Jackie Clarke, David Caspe
Music: Jesse Novak

Timmy: Randall Park
Eliza: Melissa Fumero
Hannah: Madeleine Arthur
Percy: JB Smoove
Carlos: Tyler Alvarez
Connie: Olga Merediz
Kayla: Kamaia Fairburn
Rene: Keegan Connor Tracy
Danielle: Jayne Entwistle
Tad: Adam Beauchesne
Lena: Stephanie Izsak
Brit: Jenna Berman
Tina: Alison Wandzura
Mila: Ashley Alexander
Aaron: Leonard Robinson
Patrice: Miriam Smith
Carol: Beverley Elliott
Mitch: Dan Shea
Smiling Girl: Alaska Leigh
Miranda: Robyn Bradley
Remington Alexander: Simon Druker
Donny: Michael Meneer
Eric: Zavien Garrett
Erin: Megan Munro
Quinn: Seth C Marks
Amber: Andrea Scozzafava